CPH:DOX 2021 Overview

The 18th CPH:DOX

April 21-May 2

This popular Copenhagen nonfiction event presents more than 130 new and recent features and series online this year.

Among the offerings:

Children of the Enemy
Director: Gorki Glaser-Müller
One man’s lonely struggle to free his seven grandchildren from a prison camp in Syria in an unforgettable film about an inflamed political dilemma.

Gabi, Between Ages 8 and 13
Director: Engeli Broberg
Five years in the life of a child in a unique film about not recognizing oneself in either of the two genders we can choose from.

The Last Shelter
Director: Ousmane Samassekou
On the edge of the desert lies the House of Migrants, where a Malian filmmaker meets the travelers in a sensual film about the melancholy of exile.

Life of Ivanna
Director: Renato Borrayo Serrano
From a harsh, nomadic life on the tundra to an uncertain future with five children – four years in the life of a strong and charismatic woman.

Lost Boys
Director: Joonas Neuvonen, Sadri Cetinkaya
A journey to the end of the night through Thailand and Cambodia, in a dark film that goes from a drug addict’s video diary to a pitch-black murder mystery.

A Man and a Camera
Director: Guido Hendrikx
A provocative, transgressive, nerve-wracking, and hilarious documentary that is exactly what the title says it is.

Our Memory Belongs to Us
Director: Rami Farah, Signe Byrge Sørensen
On the 10th anniversary of the Syrian uprising, three exiled journalists reunite to watch footage from the beginning of the revolution.

Director: Maja Borg
Christianity meets BDSM rituals in a dark and deeply personal film about healing, where body and spirituality are united in theatrical intensity.

F:ACT Award

As I Want
Director: Samaher Alqadi
A consideration of the overlooked women’s uprising during the Arab Spring in a reflective film about freedom, motherhood and the director’s own sombre past.

Behind the Headlines
Director: Daniel Andreas Sager
Two German investigative journalists are tipped off about a political scandal that ends up toppling a European government.

Director: Marianna Kakaounaki
Loose accusations about terrorist sympathies force a Turkish couple from the Gülen movement to escape to a new life under the radar.

The Other Side of the River
Director: Antonia Kilian
After hard training in the Kurdish women’s army and a war against ISIS, 19-year-old Hala has a new mission: to liberate her younger sisters from arranged marriages.

Room without a View
Director: Roser Corella
Lebanon’s countless maids fight back against the mechanisms of modern slavery.

When a City Rises
Director: Cathy Chu, Iris Kwong, Ip Kar Man, Huang Yuk-kwok, Evie Cheung, Han Yan Yuen, Jen Lee
The protests in Hong Kong as portrayed from the inside by young activists.

Nordic:Dox Award

The Banality of Grief
Director: Jon Bang Carlsen
An impressionistic love letter to the filmmaker’s beloved wife after her passing.

The Hero’s Journey to the Third Pole: A Bipolar Musical Documentary With Elephants
Director: Andri Magnason, Anní Ólafsdóttir
An odd Icelandic couple on a journey through Nepal in a wonderful, tragicomic, and heart-warming docu-musical about mental health – and elephants!

How to Kill a Cloud
Director: Tuija Halttunen
A Finnish scientist caught in a dilemma between research, finance, and freedom has three years to make it rain in the desert.

Oh, It Hertz!
Director: Gunnar Hall Jensen
A musicologist investigates an obscure theory linking Nazi manipulation and all the music we listen to today.

Seyran Ateş: Sex, Revolution and Islam
Director: Nefise Özkal Lorentzen
Seyran Ateş – imam, feminist, and advocate of a new sexual revolution – puts her life at risk in the holy name of tolerance.

Director: Pernille Rose Grønkjær
Some of the world’s leading scientists isolate themselves for 10 days in the New Mexico desert in order to develop real solutions to the world’s most acute problems.

Trust Me
Director: Emil Trier
The incredible cock-and-bull story about a Norwegian fraudster who fooled everyone from Oslo to LA.

New:Vision Award

Two Minutes to Midnight
Director: Yael Bartana
A panel of female experts is confronted with a devastating nuclear threat in a radical performative work that stages real experts in a fictitious setting.

Next:Wave Award

Director: Volkan Üce
A stylish coming-of-age comedy from an absurd holiday paradise in Turkey, where two young men try to find their way in a new world.

Director: Alireza Rasoulinejad
An Iranian Don Quixote is in search of Clint Eastwood in this witty and warm satire of Hollywood’s cultural dominance – even in the Islamic Republic of Iran.

Director: Marija Zidar
Can forgiveness break the vicious circle of a bitter blood feud in the Albanian mountains?

So Foul a Sky
Director: Alvaro Fernandez-Pulpeiro
A dark and sensory road movie through Venezuela, a country on the brink of collapse, based on a novel by Joseph Conrad.

You and I
Director: Fanny Chotimah
An unusual, lifelong relationship between two aging women is nearing its end in this simple, beautiful, and deeply moving film.

Politiken Danish:Dox Award

Director: Phie Ambo
Young Danish activists fight for a greener future.

Cannon Arm and the Arcade Quest
Director: Mads Hedegaard
Can Kim Cannon Arm beat the world record and play arcade games for 100 hours non-stop?

Dark Blossom
Director: Frigge Fri
The deep friendship between three young outsider Goths is threatened when one falls in love and eyes a possible escape from provincial life.

Raising a School Shooter
Director: Frida Matilda Barkfors, Lasse Barkfors
Parents of American teenagers who committed school shootings reflect on unimaginable trauma.

Director: Cecilie Debell, Maria Tórgarð
A young woman stages a youth rebellion on the Faroe Islands, where the Christian faith is facing a new era.

Special Premieres

512 Hours
Director: Adina Istrate, Giannina LaSalvia
Marina Abramović invites the audience to take part in a landmark exhibition.

Birds of America
Director: Jacques Lœuille
A beautiful and atmospheric journey to the American South, following the route of a French ornithologist’s adventure in the 19th century.

Ladies of the Wood
Director: Claus Drexel
Sexual subcultures and the outsiders of society are welcome in the Boulogne forest west of Paris, where anyone can live out their inner fantasies.

Sisters on Track
Director: Corinne van der Borch, Tone Grøttjord-Glenne
A coming-of-age story set in Brooklyn, about hope, sisterhood, and belonging as three young homeless sisters race against all odds towards a brighter future.


Antigone, How Dare We!
Director: Jani Sever
Slavoj Žižek’s modern adaptation of Antigone brings the ancient tragedy up to date, with politicians and decision-makers in all roles.

Banksy Most Wanted
Director: Aurélia Rouvier, Seamus Haley
The ultimate film about the mysterious rebel artist.

Killing Escobar
Director: David Whitney
The unknown but incredible story about how a team of British elite soldiers were hired to kill the drug baron Pablo Escobar.

Sound & Vision

Other, Like Me
Director: Marcus Werner Hed, Dan Fox
From performance art to deafening industrial music – the story of the pioneering Throbbing Gristle, by the artists themselves.

Tehran Blues
Director: Javier Tolentino
The city’s musicians and poets take us on a musical tour of Iran’s capital in a charming film about a music culture rarely heard of in the West.

Artists & Auteurs

Amor Fati
Director: Cláudia Varejão
A film about finding one’s other half, in which unexpected patterns and interconnections appear. 

Director: Stefan Kolbe, Chris Wright
An interview with an anonymous murderer brings the viewer into his dark mind, in a psychological true crime film with a puppet in the lead role.

Just a Movement
Director: Vincent Meessen
An elliptical and enigmatic film about the tragic Black protagonist of the May 1968 uprising, who became a revolutionary icon in Senegal.


The Brain
Director: Jean-Stéphane Bron
The mysteries of the brain are explored in this futuristic film about biological and artificial intelligence and the dilemmas of technology in the 21st century.

The Scent of Fear
Director: Mirjam von Arx
What are we so afraid of?

Change Makers 

All That I Am
Director: Tone Grøttjord-Glenne
Emilie confronts her mother and half-siblings with the family’s dark secret in a film about surviving sexual abuse.

The Case You
Director: Alison Kuhn
Actresses meet to reconstruct the systematic abuse they suffered during a casting.

Dear Future Children
Director: Franz Böhm
Three young female activists in Uganda, Hong Kong, and Chile form a united front for the future.

Denmark 2021

Elena’s Inner Fire
Director: Casper Balslev
Jutland’s only – and coolest – female pro-wrestler can beat anyone to a pulp, but can she find her inner fire?

Director: Rikke Nørgaard
A young couple with a messy love life reconstruct scenes from their shared life to find out why they cannot let go of each other.


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Filed under Documentary, Film, Film Festivals, Overviews, Recommendations

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